Born and raised in Mexico, but now resides in San Diego, CA, Garza’s work strives to convey her unique, multi-cultural perspective of the human experience. Constantly testing and refining her techniques, Garza gracefully transforms blank canvas into stirring imagery that speaks to the continued legacy of hopeful self-expression inherited from her mother and grandmother, proclaiming: “There is no work of art I paint that does not carry a piece of my heart and a part of my soul in it.” Garza courageously and elegantly explores the power of passion and love, the conflict between survival and excess, and the delicate relationship between beauty and strength.
Famously recognized as the first Latina artist to exhibit on the Las Vegas Strip, her work has since featured on the cover of Playboy, Roberto Cavalli haute couture, and on the opening design of Nicole Miller’s catwalk show during Fashion Week Scottsdale. In July 2019, West Hollywood’s iconic Hills Penthouse welcomed Garza’s “Kings and Queens” exhibition in support of AnnaLynne McCord’s anti-human trafficking organization Together1Heart.
During 2019’s Art Basel Miami Beach, Garza’s sold-out exhibition featured a “Queen of Hearts” piece that garnered a $70,000 price tag, earning her a widespread celebrity following and commissioned projects for legends such as Snoop Dogg, world-champion boxer Canelo Alvarez, and the Phoenix Suns NBA basketball team. In 2020, Garza is set to collaborate with one of the largest Napa Valley wineries, design a custom “Kings and Queens” diamond necklace for Jason of Beverly Hills, and present an eagerly-anticipated exhibit in Europe.
Follow Gilda at @gildagarza007
Hi Gilda, please tell us a little about you?
I have an amazing family that is the cornerstone of who I am today. I grew up in Sinaloa, Mexico. Growing up in Sinaloa has played a big role in shaping my perspectives, priorities and my personality. It is a state that I deeply love, but it is a state that has two very different faces. On one hand it is a state where the passion of the people is addictive. You won’t find a more loving, caring or generous culture. But on the other hand, it is a state that has broken my heart on many ocassions. Living in the middle of drug wars and social conflicts that often hit close to home was challenging. In the last few years we have had to deal with 4 of my close family members being kidnapped. The last one being my 86-year old grandfather who was held hostage for seven days until authorities tracked him down and killed the kidnappers. Those were the most terrifying days of my life, I was petrified.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Passionate, big hearted and a dreamer.
Who is your role model?
Starting from Virgin Mary, probably the most famous woman in history, Princess Diana for being a real Queen, and Frida Khalo for the passion she had for life.
How did you get started into art?
Since I was a little girl, my earliest memories involve spending time with family with a paintbrush in my hand.
My mom and my grandmother taught me to believe in my art and to always paint from the heart. They are truly my earliest and highest inspirations.
How has this changed your life?
We have all hear the adage that if you can find a job you love you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Needless to say… I love my career.
What is the best and worst part of being an artist?
The worst part is I travel a lot so I miss my family, but they know I’m chasing my dreams and they are happy for me and incredibly supportive.
The best part is that I’m opening my life to the world, I meet some of the most incredible people.
Tell us about your art style and who are your influences?
My art have been described as an original expressionist with a mix of pop art which has attracted the attention of art collectors. I love to visit galleries around the world. Gustav Klimt has always inspired me. Though his art was initially criticized for its over-sexualization and eroticization of the female body, I believe today it has taken on a new meaning for it exemplifies the power, strength, and sheer beauty of women. I feel a deep connection with him, considering much of my early art was inspired by the concept of the strength of femininity vs. its sexualization.
Tell us about your work on the Playboy cover? That’s amazing!
When I finally acknowledged that art was my true passion I did not look back, I fought hard to try to get my art into galleries, hold exhibitions and network with people that opened up doors for me. At the beginning I fought for my dreams which seemed like a real leap of faith. But, at my first exhibition in Mexico City I was approached by Playboy. They liked the style of art and the passion I had for it. Just a few weeks later they asked me to paint the cover of their special Art issue of the magazine.
What other projects you have been part of?
I have exhibited my art around the world, and had the opportunity to have collaborations with Roberto Cavalli, as well as showcasing my art in the House of Bijan on Rodeo drive… I know the dedication and hard work are being appreciated by others which is humbling and motivating. I‘m not where I want to be yet, but I also know that I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be where I‘m at and to have the opportunity to follow my dreams.
Where can we see more of your work, or if you have any exhibition coming soon?
My art is showcased at a few galleries. The easiest to see on line at Reine Art Gallery www.reinegallery.art
My next exhibition is going to be in the summer in Aspen Colorado with Rolls Royce, can’t wait for that one.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Being able to make a living doing what I love and then being able to help people. I believe throughout our life we should try to leave the most amount of finger prints and the least amount of footprints. Together we can make the world for a better place for everyone.
How do you balance your busy work life with your personal life?
It has been hard. I have been so focused on chasing my dreams the last years, now is my time to find a better balance in my personal life going forward.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I am a bit of a health food fanatic, I like everything that’s healthy but most often it’s all of the usual suspects – salads, salmon, green juices, fruit, vegetables..
And your favorite cheat food?
Without question I love chocolates and red wine.
How would you explain your fashion style?
I’m an artist I like to have my own style, one day I’m in my sweatpants with a Batman jacket and the next day I’m all high fashion, depends on how I feel.
How would your best friend describe you?
My best friend would probably say she finds me inspiring and capable of doing anything I set my mind to. She’s been my best friend for almost 10 years so she knows me pretty well. She would say I have a big heart and strong values. She would also say at times I’m too nice. She’s always telling me to be more careful with my inner circle. In general she just wants the best for me.
What’s next for Gilda Garza in 2020?
Painting my first mural it’s going to be the wall between Mexico and USA.
What is your own definition of happiness?
The happiest people don’t have the best of everything.. they make the best of everything.
How is a normal day in your life?
I don’t have a routine, but everyday I try to eat a healthy breakfast, find my time to go to the gym, there is where I disconnect from everything and I get inspired then I go back home and paint .. I don’t imagine a day without painting.
What is your idea of a perfect Sunday?
Go to the church and say thank you to God for everything, I like to spend Sunday’s with my family, we go lunch, movies, I paint with mi nieces.. that’s a perfect Sunday for me.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’ll love to meet Fernando Botero, I’m a big fan of him as and artist and also the way he pushed his art to the limit.
Best advice ever given?
My grandfather always said to me, be the best you can be in whatever think you do.
Do you support any charity?
Yes, that’s my number one, on all my events I support a charity, the house of migrants in Tijuana, children’s hospital in Mexico INP, Les Coleours Charity, for kids in Mexico and Haiti. Together One Heart, anti human trafficking, and many others.
Name 3 things you can’t live without?
I never leave home without my tennis shoes; they come everywhere with me. No matter where I am in the world. I also always have a lipstick in my purse, and a paintbrush on my backpack.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I don’t know where I’m going to be but I’m sure I’m going to be painting.
I can see myself in love with my king and a build beautiful family, my artwork around the world .. painting, doing sculptures and enjoying the life.
Favorite song? Why?
A few songs have made my cry and one is “Con te partiró” from Andrea Bolleci.
What music do you like?
Depends on my mood.. I like from opera to regeton.. pop, hip hop.
What do you think of Social Media?
Best platform to build your brand, it’s free and you can show your work to the world. But at the same time it’s the worst platform for your relationship if your not mature enough.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: My heart is in my art.
Favorite Singer/Artist: Drake
Movie: I love all Leonardo DiCaprio Movies.
Travel Destination: To me, if I want to have fun, my choice escape is St Tropez. Not only does art play a pivotal role in setting the energy and life that pulses throughout this French gem, but also I love how the nightlife brings together people from all walks of life. Secondly, if I’m looking to getaway and hide, my favorite is Laucala Island, Fiji. This real life “fantasy island” captures your mind and soul as you immerse yourself in whatever you want that day: ranging from horseback riding in the South Pacific, to painting in the pool.
Sports Team: I love sports, basketball I’m a big fan of the lakers and Phoenix Suns. Football soccer, Real Madrid. Boxing I’m Canelo team. American Football San Francisco 49ers.